Beauty’s emerging Generation

On day two of WWD’s Beauty CEO Summit 2024 at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami, visionary founders and executives – from Dermalogica’s Aurelian Lis to Commence’s Brooke Shields to MAC Cosmetics’ Drew Elliott and Aïda Moudachirou-Rebois and more – took the stage.

Topics included navigating a turbulent global retail landscape, harnessing AI to its full – and ethical – potential, what the rise of Ozempic means for adjacent supplement categories, prestige beauty’s untapped Gen

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Here are 11 key insights from day two of the conference.

1. Experiential retail is an integral part of tomorrow’s winning omnichannel strategies.

“Experiential retail is the future – if retail becomes transactional, we will be in trouble,” said Sylvie Moreau, president of Europe and the Middle East at Sephora, adding that the retailer is launching “classes, services and services” in China and globally ”. beauty events to create that need to come to the stores.”

In North America, the retailer is embarking on a more than five-year journey to renovate all of its stores in the region. “We’re going to give them new fixtures and new layouts; this is not a store design project, it is a store merchandising driven project. It’s mainly about how the consumer shops, how he navigates the products, where do we place the beauty studio? We are taking our ‘perfect footprint’ and rolling it out to every store,” said Artemis Patrick, CEO of Sephora North America.

2. Much is said about beauty’s low barrier to entry, but success depends on differentiation.

“The core of it lies in understanding unmet consumer needs,” said Piyush Jain, CEO of Maesa. “Consumers don’t need new brands…that don’t really serve a unique, differentiated purpose…It comes down to: Does the brand have a right to exist? Why is the brand necessary in the consumer journey?”

3. Ozempic isn’t going anywhere – and is creating opportunities in adjacent categories.

One in eight Americans took a GLP-1 in the past year, and with that, some adjacent wellness categories are seeing a boost.

“A lot of consumers who start using GLP-1 medications aren’t necessarily eating healthier, they’re eating less…There’s a tremendous amount of side effects and that’s where we come in,” said Muriel Gonzalez, president of The Vitamin Shoppe, pointing out on free supplement products that meet these needs, including proteins, probiotics, multivitamins and more.

Additionally, the Ozempic market is only expected to grow with new telehealth services, including The Vitamin Shoppe’s new Whole Health Rx platform, where users can receive GLP-1 prescriptions.

4. Your community is also your most valuable data source.

Trinny Woodall, founder of skincare brand Trinny London, routinely seeks to understand the behaviors and preferences of her community – or the “Trinny Tribe” – to inform the brand’s stories.

“We have an average viewing time of eight minutes on YouTube; we also have a 35 percent US audience, so for us that’s a really interesting platform to think about: how do we tell stories that women feel emotionally connected to, that allows them to discover the brand,” Woodall said.

Summer Fridays co-founder Marianna Hewitt added: “We always want to say we create products that work, and part of that is community involvement around product development – ​​making our community part of our [that process] they feel like they have a sense of ownership when the products come out.”

5. AI is only as good as its training: done right, it can enhance the human touch and connection of your brand.

“The biggest risk with AI is that we don’t adopt and respond to it as an industry,” said Aurelian Lis, CEO of Dermalogica, warning that specificity is key to using the tool most effectively and without bias. “The company’s approach that I’m quite scared of is, ‘let’s collect all this data and create a huge data lake.’ You must start with a question; you don’t start with the answer.”

“AI is intelligence, and intelligence is based on learning and asking – it is not an answer,” said Nick Howard, director of global strategy at EveLab Insight.

“The magic of AI is inspiring for creating value chain optimization in the workplace, but when you discover something new [AI] model, you should take the time to train it because it’s the data set that matters [built on] is the key,” says Elsa Jungman, CEO and founder of HelloBiome.

“The differentiator of pure luxury, I think, is coming back to the human touch – how we can make that human element exciting with AI is what we should be spending our time on,” Lis added.

6. Be more than a beauty brand – be a culture brand.

“I’ve never thought of MAC as a makeup brand — it’s a culture brand,” said Elliott, the brand’s global creative director, who took the stage with MAC’s new senior vice president and general manager Aïda Moudachirou-Rebois. “Culture has always been at the heart of MAC and that is what allows us to get ahead of trends and develop our own.”

Moudachirou-Rebois added: “Culture is in everything we do – from our product to our Viva Glam [campaign] – everything has to do with being in the moment and connected to our culture.”

7. Embrace Gen X: The Forgotten Opportunity of Beauty.

“Gen takes care of the beauty expenses. “They almost beg us to help them embrace their beauty and celebrate their age, because growing older is a privilege.”

It is this Gen

“Women over forty have done a lot of things and their lives are so complex. They’ve done so much, and it’s more their time. I was in that position,” Shields said. “There was so much white space in hair care, especially for women over 40, but not in geriatrics or medicine.”

8. The most effective strategies for global expansion celebrate brand heritage while utilizing localization tactics.

This applies to all markets, but for Sephora it has become especially critical in China – a market that beauty as an industry is increasingly trying to crack and adapt to. “Localization is the first phase where Chinese consumers need to understand what the brand stands for, after which the next phase will be the products,” said Alia Gogi, president of Sephora Asia, which recently brought Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty to the region. “For example, Fenty still maintains their inclusivity, but they talk about Chinese skin color matching.”

9. Use loyalty programs to drive customer retention and loyalty.

According to Ulta Beauty president and chief operating officer Kecia Steelman and Space NK CEO Andy Lightfoot, effective loyalty programs are essential to understanding customers and providing them with a personalized experience.

“Having that [loyalty program] Data is critical and will separate the successful retailers from those that are struggling. You really have to be able to connect with that consumer, especially in this category,” says Steelman.

10. Medical aesthetics are quickly being integrated into the typical beauty regimen.

“[Treatments] are not a one-time solution, they are part of something broader,” said David Moatazedi, president and CEO of Evolus, adding that the aging of the category’s core consumer is driving its evolution. “The point of care is evolving; it’s now more of an experience: consumers book their treatments the day before or the day before, and are generally in and out of an office within half an hour. That experience has transformed from what was a medical procedure to what is a beauty treatment today.”

11. Use technology to personalize every stage of the customer journey.

“It’s all about personalization…It’s not just about personalization at a certain point in time; it’s personalization from the top funnel to checkout,” said Melis del Rey, general manager of U.S. stores, beauty, baby and beauty technology at Amazon. “We spend a lot of time building machine models so we can model what the behavior of a replenisher is, what the behavior is of a brand loyalist or explorer. These models help us navigate the shopping experience at scale and create unique opportunities for customers.”

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